The Research Project
This site is for the purpose of sharing research findings from a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)-funded study titled ‘Wheels of Change? Exploring ‘Bicycles for Development’ for Women and Girls in the (Post-)Pandemic Contexts of Canada, Uganda and Nicaragua.’
This project is led by Dr. Lyndsay Hayhurst (York University), Dr. Brian Wilson (UBC), Dr. Francine Darroch (Carleton University), Dr. Cathy van Ingen (Brock University) and Dr. Brad Millington (Brock University).
The bicycle’s capacity to respond to pressing social issues (e.g., gender inequality, access to education) and facilitate social change has inspired both interest and optimism, especially in the context of COVID-19. For example, in May 2020, the United Nations formed a taskforce to assess how to “make post-COVID-19 mobility more environmentally sound, healthy and sustainable” with an eye to “bicycles as driver[s] of post-COVID-19 ‘green recovery’” (UN, 2020). At the same time, there are a number of non-governmental organizations around the world that utilize bicycles to address social issues, including for instance: reducing gender-based violence; promoting social entrepreneurship for women and girls in bicycle-related work; and considering the roles of women and girls in achieving the aforementioned ‘green recovery’ in a (post-)COVID context.
The ‘Wheels of Change’ study builds on the activities, findings and community partnerships developed during the research team’s recently-completed five-year study (2017-2021) on ‘bicycles for development’ (BFD) — the use of bicycles to achieve community-level, national and global development objectives in Canada, Uganda, Nicaragua, South Africa, and India.
Upcoming Knowledge Translation Session!
This workshop will review past and current work taking place in the BFD sector by York University’s BFD research team (https://bicyclesfordevelopment.ca/), World Bicycle Relief (https://worldbicyclerelief.org/), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) D-Lab’s research team (https://d-lab.mit.edu/research/mit-d-lab-cite/access-affordable-bicycles-sub-saharan-africa), to identify ways forward for research, practice, and policy on the role of the bicycle in development.
The workshop will also provide an overview of a ‘Community of Practice’ and offer an opportunity for discussion between organizations, researchers, and policymakers to begin to construct a ‘community of practice’ intended to form a Transnational Bicycle Collective made up of stakeholders within the BFD field. Overall, the workshop is intended to create a collaborative space for BFD stakeholders to work with one another moving forward. The workshop will be held online to accommodate stakeholders from different countries and regions.